Huntington food bank hosts first produce drop for community - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Huntington food bank hosts first produce drop for community

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff

Residents in Huntington were given the opportunity to get free produce today from the East Texas Food Bank.

The fresh produce drop is a collaborated effort between the the East Texas Food Bank, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office, Zavalla Grace Gospel Food Pantry, and the Christian Information & Service Center.

"We have pockets of food deserts in our county," Shanelle Stewart with the Angelina County and Cities health District said. "People do not have access to healthy foods. We have a grant through the national WIC Association. Our goal is to bring these communities healthy foods."

The program is free to all residents in the area and the fresh produce is given out until the food pantry at Hunting,ton's First Baptist Church runs out of food. It helps residents like  Denice Powell who have limited options for food choices.

"The food stamp office is giving me $80 a month," Powell said. "Really, $80 a month isn't even enough. It is great when people come together for the community."

Leah Martin runs the pantry and said finances and health are the main concern people are limited on what they can buy.

The clients that we see have limited funds or limited food stamps," Leah Martin said. "A lot of times they won't use that to buy produce because produce is so expensive."

The Huntington community was the first chosen by the health district to launch the program. Angelina county is consistently ranked in the lower half of the state when it comes to health statistics. The district believes they can improve those numbers with drops like the one in Huntington.

"In Lufkin we have a lot and it is centralized," Kristine Childress said."Huntington and Zavalla are part of Angeline County but a lot of times I think they are forgotten because it is so rural."

Anyone may participate in the produce drop; all are encouraged to stop by. There is a sign in table, just for serving in the order of arrival; no additional information is needed to qualify. There is no paperwork or eligibility requirement. All who will be participating will be required to bring a container, cart, wagon, or sturdy bag with handles. The use of boxes is not recommended for this process. Participants may receive a second helping of produce once everyone is served, and if it is available.

Parking will be at the Huntington First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center, with additional parking available at the front or on the side of the main church building.

The free produce drop will take place on the second Tuesday of every month from 10 A.M.- Noon.

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